Recently ranked as one of the healthiest markets in the United States by SmartAsset, Durham, N.C. is the new “hot market” in the Triangle – edging out Raleigh. Based on stability, risk, fluidity and affordability, real estate investors should be excited.
What makes Durham special?
A budding city rich in culture and talent, Durham has been described as the “Brooklyn of the South,” and it’s worth the hype. Home to Duke University and a staple in the tech community of Research Triangle Park, the area attracts the best and brightest. Young professionals and family alike enjoy the urban-hippie yet entrepreneurial vibe that is unique to the Triangle. The city of Durham has invested heavily in the revitalization of downtown, sparking more population growth and economic activity.
Coined as “The Tastiest Town in the South,” foodies can also rejoice at the exploding restaurant and bar scene. Durham has been recognized at the national level – in The New York Times, Southern Living and Bon Appetit, to name a few – for its outstanding cuisine, craft beer and atmosphere.
Why should I invest in the Durham real estate market?
Currently, Durham is similar to what downtown Raleigh experienced five years ago before it hit its bubble of growth, so real estate investors can buy properties at a reasonable price and flip them later. The mixed types of homes – bungalow houses, historic homes and condos – are also comparable to the capital city.
“Five years from now, homes in Durham will see similar growth and increased homes values that we have observed in the Raleigh market,” said Victoria Melbourne, vice president of growth and client development at Century 21 Triangle Group Property Management. “You can hold on to a property as a rental and then sell it later for a big profit as the market continues to improve.”
Which specific neighborhoods in Durham are up and coming?
For residential investors, some great neighborhoods include Hope Valley Farms, Brightleaf, Downtown Durham, Rockwood and South Square, Cleveland-Holloway, Albright and the area surrounding Southpoint Mall on Highway 751. It connects to Apex, so great proximity to a neighboring city.
East Durham is also up and coming, but investors should work with an agent that is familiar with the neighborhood. Changes from neighborhood to neighborhood can drastically affect investment return.
How should I get started if I want to purchase real estate in Durham?
Having someone who specializes in a particular geographic area is vital. Many Century 21 Triangle Group agents are experts in the Durham market and can serve as a valuable resource to real estate investors who aren’t as familiar with every neighborhood and nuance.
“You wouldn’t want to purchase a $40,000 house – thinking it was a deal – only to discover that it may be in a less desirable area and that you may face difficulty selling down the road,” said Melbourne. “The $40,000 investment could have great potential, but it’s imperative that you buy property in a neighborhood that offers appealing amenities or is a short distance to all of the activities and eats that makes Durham unique.”
How can I increase the value of a property if I’m flipping a house in Durham?
The biggest complaint investors have involves kitchens and bathrooms.
“If you make even moderate upgrades and incorporate more open spaces, it will help in the long run,” said Melbourne. “Durham is a very pet-friendly city as well, so creating or incorporating more grassy, outdoor space is always a plus.”
How can I rent out this property if I don’t plan on living there?
Century 21 Triangle Group’s Property Management Division can help both residential and commercial property owners maximize their rental income and become more efficient landlords. The C21TG team handles tenant procurement, contracting, and rental collection; complete day-to-day management of the property; routine maintenance and extensive repairs; and financial management including tax prep. Learn more here.
Does Durham allow me to host my home on Airbnb?
Yes! With all of the concerts, Broadway shows and festivals held in Durham, hotels can only hold so many people, so Durham is an ideal place to utilize your space as an Airbnb host. Century 21 can manage your Airbnb property in Durham County and other areas of Wake County. They will get your property listed and serve as the point of contact with renters, freeing you up to work on your next real estate investment!